Romans 9-11 & the temple's destruction

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Irish1975
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Re: Romans 9-11 & the temple's destruction

Post by Irish1975 » Thu May 16, 2019 8:11 am

John2 wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 4:28 pm

Does it have to be 70 CE though?
I'll settle for the conclusion that it might be 70 CE.
Could not what Paul says apply as well to any of the years of the 66-70 CE war, or even any time between 6 CE and 70 CE, given how Josephus characterizes the consequences of the Fourth Philosophy in Ant. 18.1.1?
But for Paul, wars and rumors of wars would not be theologically significant by themselves, except perhaps as heralding the parousia as in 1 Thessalonians. But the destruction of God's temple would be a defining moment for him, elevating both "his gospel" and "the gentiles" to the colossal importance that he palpably attributes to them.
And I would suppose that Paul would be more explicit about something like the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. Even Jesus in Mark is more explicit about it.
We would like Paul to be more explicit about all kinds of things, eg, who Jesus was to him. But either he or his 2nd century "redactors" left us with nothing specific. And, as I have already suggested, the event might have been so huge in the minds of his contemporaries that there was no need to name it categorically. Or a cautious prudence vis-a-vis his imperial captors/patrons might be in play. In general, Paul writes of empirical matters empirically only when he has a pressing reason to, as in Galatians when he describes his past history with the Jerusalem "pillars."

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Re: Romans 9-11 & the temple's destruction

Post by John2 » Thu May 16, 2019 10:46 am

Irish1975 wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 8:11 am
John2 wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 4:28 pm

Does it have to be 70 CE though?
I'll settle for the conclusion that it might be 70 CE.
Could not what Paul says apply as well to any of the years of the 66-70 CE war, or even any time between 6 CE and 70 CE, given how Josephus characterizes the consequences of the Fourth Philosophy in Ant. 18.1.1?
But for Paul, wars and rumors of wars would not be theologically significant by themselves, except perhaps as heralding the parousia as in 1 Thessalonians. But the destruction of God's temple would be a defining moment for him, elevating both "his gospel" and "the gentiles" to the colossal importance that he palpably attributes to them.
And I would suppose that Paul would be more explicit about something like the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. Even Jesus in Mark is more explicit about it.
We would like Paul to be more explicit about all kinds of things, eg, who Jesus was to him. But either he or his 2nd century "redactors" left us with nothing specific. And, as I have already suggested, the event might have been so huge in the minds of his contemporaries that there was no need to name it categorically. Or a cautious prudence vis-a-vis his imperial captors/patrons might be in play. In general, Paul writes of empirical matters empirically only when he has a pressing reason to, as in Galatians when he describes his past history with the Jerusalem "pillars."

But the Damascus Document also welcomes Gentiles to a notable extent (and even alters the OT to support it), and also expects the coming of the Messiah and the End Time, but it says that the End Time has not fully arrived yet and doesn't mention the destruction of the Temple.
But when the age [of God's wrath] is completed, according to the number of those years, there shall be no more joining the house of Judah, but each man shall stand on his watchtower.


As Harrington and Himmelfarb note:
It is important to recognize that the Damascus Document is the only scroll to truly accept the ger at all ... Gentiles are not neutral; their idolatry makes them impure and contaminating. Nevertheless, presumably after an initiation and purification process, they can be included among the ger category of the sect.

https://books.google.com/books?id=o26q1 ... nt&f=false
The presence of the ger among the members of the sect shows that for the Damascus Document ... gentiles were not so essentially different from Jews that it was impossible to cross the boundary.

https://books.google.com/books?id=ZgYAx ... nt&f=false
And regarding the reference to "joining" the house of Judah above, Cohen notes that this word is used in the OT in reference to Gentiles and in eschatological contexts:
Isaiah 14:1 ... prophesizes that "strangers (hager) shall join (venilvah) them and shall cleave to the House of Jacob" ... these passages address the eschatological age, when the earth is filled with knowledge of the Lord, and a new cosmic order is being created ... The first and only passage in the Tanakh that would seem to refer clearly to the social integration of the gentile in the historical present is Esther 9:27: "The Judeans undertook and irrevocably obligated themselves and their descendants, and all who might join them, to observe these two days in the manner prescribed and at the proper time each year." Here we have Judeans (yehudim), and gentiles who attach themselves (nilvim aleihem) to them; all alike constitute the community of those bound by the law of the Purim festival.

https://books.google.com/books?id=cvWq4 ... en&f=false

And the Damascus Document also mentions a teacher who taught about the destruction that God has done and continues to do to Israel:
... he made known to the latter generations that which God had done to the latter generation, the congregation of traitors, to those who departed from the way … great flaming wrath by the hand of all the Angels of Destruction towards those who depart from the way and abhor the Precept. They shall have no remnant or survivor. For from the beginning God chose them not ... He hid His face from the Land until they were consumed … understand the works of God ... great men have gone astray and mighty heroes have stumbled from former times till now ... they were as though they had never been because they did their own will ... so that His wrath was kindled against them

But God, in His wonderful mysteries, forgave them their sin and pardoned their wickedness; and He built them a sure house in Israel whose like has never existed from former times till now … During all these years Satan shall be unleashed against Israel, as He spoke by the hand of Isaiah, son of Amoz, saying, Terror and the pit and the snare are upon you, O Israel ...

Moreover, they profane the Temple because they do not observe the distinction (between clean and unclean) in accordance with the Law … For (already) in ancient times God visited their deeds and His anger was kindled against their works … the apostates were given up to the sword; and so shall it be for all the members of His Covenant who do not hold steadfastly to these precepts. They shall be visited for destruction by the hand of Satan. That shall be the day when God will visit ... wrath shall be poured upon them, for they shall hope for healing but He will crush them. They are all of them rebels

But when the glory of God is made manifest to Israel, all those members of the Covenant who have breached the bound of the Law shall be cut off from the midst of the camp, and with them all those who condemned Judah in the days of its trials.

In other words, the Damascus Document talks the same kind of talk as Paul but the Temple was still standing. And the Habakkuk Pesher is dated pre-70 CE and mentions the same teacher and refers to destruction caused by the Kittim (who are commonly thought to be the Romans), yet likewise does not mention of the destruction of the Temple (and the last Habakkuk verse it interprets says, "But the Lord is in His holy Temple: let all the earth be silent before Him!"):
... the Kittim ... cause many to perish by the sword - youths, grown men, the aged, women and children - and ... even take no pity on the fruit of the womb.

We would like Paul to be more explicit about all kinds of things, eg, who Jesus was to him.

But Paul says who Jesus was to him in 2 Cor. 5:16, i.e., a heavenly being whose previous humanity no longer interests him (and he says quite a bit about the heavenly Jesus throughout his letters):
From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer.
When it's done and over, Lord, a man is just a man.

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Irish1975
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Re: Romans 9-11 & the temple's destruction

Post by Irish1975 » Sat May 18, 2019 8:32 am

The English unitarian Edward Evanson (1731-1805) also thought that Romans 11 alluded to the destruction of the temple--

Evanson contested the authenticity of Romans, above all because of contradictions with Acts, whose witness he regarded as historically correct. While Romans presupposes the existence of a Christian church whose faith is known in all the world, Acts has nothing to report about a Christian community in Rome when Paul arrived. Moreover, Evanson asked, how a congregation could already exist in Rome if at the time the vision called Paul to Macedonia the gospel had not yet been preached in Europe. While it is presupposed in Romans that the Jews in Rome are already familiar with the gospel, in Acts Paul would like to make the gospel known to Jews in Rome (Acts 28:17-29). Above all, for Evanson Romans 11 shows very clearly that the writer of the letter cannot be Paul, but someone who writes after the destruction of Jerusalem presupposed by the parable of the olive tree.

Detering, Hermann. The Fabricated Paul. Early Christianity In The Twilight. . Kindle Edition.


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Re: Romans 9-11 & the temple's destruction

Post by John2 » Sat May 18, 2019 11:45 am

The only difference I can see between what Paul says in Rom. 9-11 and what the Damascus Document says is that Paul throws in his spin on the OT to promote his Torah-free gospel while the Damascus Document is pro-Torah observance. Otherwise they both talk about the wrath of God and destruction and a righteous remnant of Israel and welcome Gentiles and expect the coming of the Messiah and the End Time. So without an explicit reference to the destruction of the Temple in Rom. 9-11, I'm inclined to view it as having been written while the Temple existed like the Damascus Document.
When it's done and over, Lord, a man is just a man.

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Re: Romans 9-11 & the temple's destruction

Post by Irish1975 » Sun May 19, 2019 10:29 am

andrewcriddle wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 12:17 pm
According to Romans 15 Paul is planning to visit Jerusalem and provide financial aid to the Christians at Jerusalem. This seems unlikely in the post 70 CE period.

Andrew Criddle
Jason BeDuhn cites Origen (Romans commentary 10.43.2) and Tertullian (Marc. 5.14.14) in favor of

"the consensus opinion that Romans 14:23 marked the end of Marcion's text. There is clear evidence of a 14-chapter version of Romans in circulation in the Latin West...and the 9th century Greek-Latin bilingual ms G separates chapters 15-16 from the end of chapter 14 by six blank lines. This sort of separation typically represents uncertainty about the unity of the preceding text with the following, as in cases where a copyist adds material found in another exemplar than the one primarily used as the basis for the copy... Several modern scholars have accepted the 14-chapter form of the letter as the probable original."

The First New Testament, pp. 304-05

Likewise, the Catholic Jesuit Joseph Fitzmeyer:
"Marcion and some patristic writers (Tertullian, Cyprian, Irenaeus) knew of a form of Romans without chapters 15-16."
The New Jerome Biblical Commentary, 51.10. (I don't know what texts of Cyprian and Irenaeus he is referring to.)

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Re: Romans 9-11 & the temple's destruction

Post by John2 » Sun May 19, 2019 11:59 am

Irish1975 wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 10:29 am
andrewcriddle wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 12:17 pm
According to Romans 15 Paul is planning to visit Jerusalem and provide financial aid to the Christians at Jerusalem. This seems unlikely in the post 70 CE period.

Andrew Criddle
Jason BeDuhn cites Origen (Romans commentary 10.43.2) and Tertullian (Marc. 5.14.14) in favor of

"the consensus opinion that Romans 14:23 marked the end of Marcion's text. There is clear evidence of a 14-chapter version of Romans in circulation in the Latin West...and the 9th century Greek-Latin bilingual ms G separates chapters 15-16 from the end of chapter 14 by six blank lines. This sort of separation typically represents uncertainty about the unity of the preceding text with the following, as in cases where a copyist adds material found in another exemplar than the one primarily used as the basis for the copy... Several modern scholars have accepted the 14-chapter form of the letter as the probable original."

The First New Testament, pp. 304-05

Likewise, the Catholic Jesuit Joseph Fitzmeyer:
"Marcion and some patristic writers (Tertullian, Cyprian, Irenaeus) knew of a form of Romans without chapters 15-16."
The New Jerome Biblical Commentary, 51.10. (I don't know what texts of Cyprian and Irenaeus he is referring to.)


Das surveys these issues you mention that pertain to Romans in Solving the Romans Debate and makes what seems like a reasonable conclusion on pg. 14-16:
While the Roman letter circulated in some quarters in a fourteen-chapter form, the shortened version is likely not the original. An original fourteen-chapter version of Romans cannot account for how the Old Latin manuscripts that end after chap. 15 developed. Scholars have generally agreed that Rom. 15:1 to at least Rom. 16:16, if not to 16:24, are Pauline in style and content. Further, Paul's discussion of the strong and the weak does not conclude until 15:6 or 15:13. No one has been able to provide a viable hypothesis why 15:1-6 or 15:1-13 would have been subsequently and rather artificially added to a fourteen-chapter Romans. No one has been able to explain why a later addition to Romans would have continued a discussion that belonged with the original situation of the letter. An original longer letter was more likely abbreviated into a fourteen-chapter version. Discerning the rationale for this alteration, on the other hand, has proven more difficult … The only relative certainty is that the fourteen-chapter form itself is not original.

https://books.google.com/books?id=CyMzp ... en&f=false

In general I am in the camp that thinks Marcion abbreviated Paul's letters (if not necessarily in this case), but I am open to taking another look at arguments to the contrary.
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Re: Romans 9-11 & the temple's destruction

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun May 19, 2019 12:59 pm

John2 wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 11:59 am
In general I am in the camp that thinks Marcion abbreviated Paul's letters (if not necessarily in this case), but I am open to taking another look at arguments to the contrary.
In this case, there is no need to summon the shade of Marcion to explain the 14 chapter version. If the longer version of Romans is original, then Marcion probably found the 14 chapter version already in play, and simply republished it. The 14 chapter version does not seem to stem from Marcion himself.
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Irish1975
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Re: Romans 9-11 & the temple's destruction

Post by Irish1975 » Sun May 19, 2019 2:22 pm

John2 wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 11:59 am

Das surveys these issues you mention that pertain to Romans in Solving the Romans Debate and makes what seems like a reasonable conclusion on pg. 14-16:
I don't know anything about this author, but his logic is far less compelling than his rhetoric (highlighted below)--
While the Roman letter circulated in some quarters in a fourteen-chapter form, the shortened version is likely not the original. An original fourteen-chapter version of Romans cannot account for how the Old Latin manuscripts that end after chap. 15 developed.
Yes it can. Paul or a student of Paul might have written 15 at a different time from when 1-14 was composed, and a later editor compiled them.

Further, Paul's discussion of the strong and the weak does not conclude until 15:6 or 15:13. No one has been able to provide a viable hypothesis why 15:1-6 or 15:1-13 would have been subsequently and rather artificially added to a fourteen-chapter Romans. No one has been able to explain why a later addition to Romans would have continued a discussion that belonged with the original situation of the letter.
How about the suggestion that 15 was in fact "subsequently and rather artificially added" to 1-14, as numerous scholars do in fact hold? If so, there might have been (and we can only speculate about editorial motives) a desire to conceal the historical context in which chapters 1-14 had been written. Patching it in seamlessly where there had been a reiteration of a well-worn Pauline theme does the trick.
An original longer letter was more likely abbreviated into a fourteen-chapter version. Discerning the rationale for this alteration, on the other hand, has proven more difficult … The only relative certainty is that the fourteen-chapter form itself is not original.
I'm giving the author a hard time (since he isn't here, lol). And, maybe his real argument isn't included in the quotation. But I couldn't hold back from observing how tendentious the rhetoric can be when a biblical scholar wants to establish a thesis (in this case, that Romans 15 gives the historical context of the canonical epistle) for which he has no evidence, and only makes a show of discrediting evidence to the contrary. I checked the preview of this book at Amazon and it appears that the author's whole argument is premised on the integrity of the 15- or 16-chapter epistle.

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Re: Romans 9-11 & the temple's destruction

Post by Irish1975 » Mon May 20, 2019 6:37 am

"...with the exception of Clement of Alexandria and Origen, there is no evidence that any ante-Nicene father quoted from [Romans] 15 and 16..."
W.H. Ryder, "The Authorship of Romans XV, XVI" Journal of Biblical Literature (1898), p. 186

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Re: Romans 9-11 & the temple's destruction

Post by John2 » Mon May 20, 2019 7:03 am

Irish1975 wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 2:22 pm
John2 wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 11:59 am

Das surveys these issues you mention that pertain to Romans in Solving the Romans Debate and makes what seems like a reasonable conclusion on pg. 14-16:
I don't know anything about this author, but his logic is far less compelling than his rhetoric (highlighted below)--
While the Roman letter circulated in some quarters in a fourteen-chapter form, the shortened version is likely not the original. An original fourteen-chapter version of Romans cannot account for how the Old Latin manuscripts that end after chap. 15 developed.
Yes it can. Paul or a student of Paul might have written 15 at a different time from when 1-14 was composed, and a later editor compiled them.

If I had to pick one of the two options you give (Paul or a student of Paul), I would lean towards Paul having written chapter 15 at a different time, since I take what Das notes in the next sentence as being a corollary of the above ("Further, Paul's discussion of the strong and the weak does not conclude until 15:6 or 15:13"). But given the corollary I'm more inclined to see chapter 15 as being written at the same time as 14.


No one has been able to provide a viable hypothesis why 15:1-6 or 15:1-13 would have been subsequently and rather artificially added to a fourteen-chapter Romans. No one has been able to explain why a later addition to Romans would have continued a discussion that belonged with the original situation of the letter.

How about the suggestion that 15 was in fact "subsequently and rather artificially added" to 1-14, as numerous scholars do in fact hold? If so, there might have been (and we can only speculate about editorial motives) a desire to conceal the historical context in which chapters 1-14 had been written. Patching it in seamlessly where there had been a reiteration of a well-worn Pauline theme does the trick.

I'm not sure how your question pertains to what you've highlighted here. You and Das both note the possibility that chapter 15 could have been "subsequently and rather artificially added to 1-14," but he doesn't see a "viable hypothesis" for it and I reckon he would feel the same way about your speculation. He's entitled to his opinion and you don't have to agree with him.

An original longer letter was more likely abbreviated into a fourteen-chapter version. Discerning the rationale for this alteration, on the other hand, has proven more difficult … The only relative certainty is that the fourteen-chapter form itself is not original.


I'm giving the author a hard time (since he isn't here, lol). And, maybe his real argument isn't included in the quotation. But I couldn't hold back from observing how tendentious the rhetoric can be when a biblical scholar wants to establish a thesis (in this case, that Romans 15 gives the historical context of the canonical epistle) for which he has no evidence, and only makes a show of discrediting evidence to the contrary. I checked the preview of this book at Amazon and it appears that the author's whole argument is premised on the integrity of the 15- or 16-chapter epistle.

I cited (and linked to) Das' book because I think it provides a good survey of the arguments regarding the integrity of Romans 15 and agree with him that there are grounds for thinking that "the fourteen-chapter form itself is not original."

This review offers a more detailed description of his book than Amazon:
Professor A. A. Das’ most recent work on the apostle Paul is designed to challenge the scholarly (and popular) consensus that Romans was addressed to a mixed congregation of Jews and Gentiles in the Romans church(es). Rather, Das contends, the letter was intended for a congregation comprised exclusively of Gentiles. The book consists of five chapters: 1: The Romans Debate: Narrowing the Options; 2. The Ethnic Identity of the Romans Congregations: The Internal Evidence; 3: Former God-Fearers or Synagogue Subgroup?; 4. Claudius’s Edict of Expulsion: The External Evidence; 5. Reading Romans with the Encoded Audience: Romans 7:7-25 and Romans 11:25-26.

Das ties into and builds on previous attempts to argue for an exclusively Gentile readership by scholars such as Paul Achtemeier, Lloyd Gaston, Stanley Stowers and Neil Elliott. In particular, he champions but still seeks to correct weaknesses in the work of Stowers and Elliott. The gist of the argument is that Romans is addressed to an “encoded Gentile audience” (a phrase derived from Stowers) …

In sum, at this point in time, I still need to be persuaded of Professor Das’ central thesis (though I am prepared to be convinced). Nevertheless, this is a book of outstanding value and needs to be pondered carefully by Pauline specialists generally and interpreters of Romans in particular.

https://euangelizomai.blogspot.com/2007 ... w-das.html
Last edited by John2 on Mon May 20, 2019 7:16 am, edited 10 times in total.
When it's done and over, Lord, a man is just a man.

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